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[kree-uh-dont] /ˈkri əˌdɒnt/
any of a diverse group of extinct predatory mammals, from the Paleocene to Pleistocene epochs, that constituted the suborder Creodonta, of the order Carnivora, developing along evolutionary lines somewhat parallel to those of the ancestors of modern carnivores and typically having a stocky, doglike body and a long, low skull.
< New Latin Creodonta (1875) name of the group, equivalent to cre- (< Greek kréas flesh) + -odont- -odont + -a neuter plural ending Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for creodont


any of a group of extinct Tertiary mammals some of which are thought to have been the ancestors of modern carnivores: order Carnivora
Word Origin
C19: from New Latin Creodonta, from Greek kreas flesh + odōn tooth
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
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creodont in Science
Any of various extinct carnivorous mammals of the order Creodonta of the Paleocene to the Pliocene Epochs. Creodonts had long, low skulls with crests to which chewing muscles were attached. They were the dominant carnivorous mammals for millions of years, and were once believed to be ancestral to modern carnivores.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
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Encyclopedia Article for creodont

order of extinct, primitive carnivores first found as fossils in early Tertiary deposits of Mongolia (the Tertiary Period lasted from 66.4 to 1.6 million years ago). The creodonts evolved from Late Cretaceous mammals (the Deltatheridia), became the early dominant carnivores, and reached the peak of their number and diversity during the Eocene Epoch (between 57.8 and 36.6 million years ago). The creodonts retained numerous archaic traits. The brain was small and primitive, and the skull was relatively long and low. Prominent crests present on the skull served for the attachment of well-developed chewing muscles. Two main families are distinguished: the Oxyaenidae and the Hyaenodontidae. The oxyaenids, long-bodied, weasel-like animals with short legs, first appeared during the late Paleocene Epoch (more than 57.8 million years ago) and were extinct by the end of the Eocene Epoch. The hyaenodonts were more diverse and abundant than the oxyaenids and had proportionately longer limbs. Some forms grew to large size and paralleled the evolution of later, more advanced carnivores, including the sabre-toothed cats. The hyaenodonts were active predators and persisted much later than the oxyaenids. Some were able to compete with the true carnivores and survived into the late Tertiary. Well-known genera of hyaenodonts include Sinopa and Hyaenodon.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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